Uber’s first Asian hackathon that was held today in Bengaluru has proved to be pretty eventful. Continuing along its drive of stockpiling on the services it offers to its passengers, Uber has unveiled a brand new API feature for developers labelled “Uber Trip Experience”. The feature promises to enhance and take your trips to the next level.
The company opened up its API to developers globally over a year ago, and since then, has seen a lot of enthusiasm from developers who are busy coming up with new ways of integrating the Uber app with other services in order to enhance and expand the experience.
For example, making a reservation on Zomato (For Dinner), Practo (With Doctors) etc. now allows you to get a reminder to book a cab when you need to get going. Similarly, a recent collaboration with Facebook Messenger allows you to order and track cabs while chatting.
Uber’s latest foray into the field is something similar, yet focuses more on the trip itself. As per the company,
Today we’re excited to announce the launch a new developer feature called Uber Trip Experiences which allows riders to connect their favourite apps to Uber to enjoy unique experiences when they may have some time to spare.
Uber gave the example of 4 possible integrations, namely Entertainment, News, Local Guides and Your Home. Here is what they do:
Entertainment: 10 minute playlists for a 10 minute trip
News: A five-minute news update for a five-minute trip
Local Guides: Insights and offers at your destination
Your home: Turn on the heating when you’re headed home
Users can always turn one — or all — of these features on or off, according to their comfort.
Speaking on the topic, Dmitry Shevelenko, Head of Business, Uber Developer Platform, said
Uber Trip Experiences is all about elevating the overall rider experience. We value the time of our riders and are always seeking new ways to maximize the enjoyment and utility of their time in Uber. From media to gaming to IoT, Uber Trip Experiences creates new opportunities for developers to build unique integrations that enhance the user experience while they are on an Uber trip.
And this is just the start. The one thing we can be certain of, is that developers are going to use the brand new API to come up with ingenious ways to improve the riding experience. There is no limit really, considering that applications allowing you to do virtually anything, are now available — and the API is now going to prove to be the bridge between these apps and Uber.
So, assuming that a user embarks upon a 30 minute trip, the API could potentially allow developers to serve up interesting content to the user, who as often as not, would be doing nothing during that duration.
As per Sara Ittelson, Head of Partnerships,
The developer community is immensely creative and we can’t wait to see what kind of engaging integrations they build for their users with this new Uber ‘Trip Experience” feature.
Of course, the API could also serve as a bridge for unwanted content, including advertisements. The US based upstart has however already taken such side-effects into account and a clause in it’s developer terms to keep devs from using the API from distributing unsolicited advertising. However, it will probably take more than a clause to keep developers from finding ways around the prohibition.
Well, lets see how things turn out. However, the API is certain to prove to be beneficial to both the Uber ecosystem, as well as the overall “Trip Experience”.